Miscarriage is a common occurrence – one in five pregnancies end this way, however people rarely share the grief and torment that they go through at the time. If is often, only years later when the emotion isn’t so raw that people open up about their experiences.
The moment you see the positive lines on a pregnancy test you start to bond with that child. You establish its due date and start to prepare (at least mentally) for the addition of the child to your family. To then suddenly, through no fault of your own, have your pregnancy end is devastating.
Everyone deals with this situation differently. Some choose to avoid people who are pregnant or have a baby because their grief is too raw for them to spend time with those who are living the dream they had for themselves. Others accept that life must go on and don’t want to be excluded from social situations where there are children, as that just accentuates their loneliness.
Given that roughly 70% of miscarriages are due to genetic abnormalities, a miscarriage is usually nature’s way of dealing with an unviable embryo. If a baby can’t survive in the ideal environment of the mother’s womb, then it would have no way of being able to survive in the real world. In the other 30% of miscarriages, it alerts the mother to any physical conditions that may make carrying a baby difficult and allows her obstetrician to intervene and closely monitor her the next time around.
The hardest part with a miscarriage is that since most people don’t share their pregnancy news until after the first trimester (for the very reason of the risk of losing the baby), it is a silent grief that the parents go through. To the outside world that has no idea that you were pregnant, life continues on as before, with them blissfully unaware of your earth shattering loss.
It’s difficult to not think about milestones – I would have been x weeks pregnant; I would have had an ultrasound around now or my baby was due today. The only comfort is the old adage that ‘time heals all wounds’. With time (and possibly a new successful pregnancy) these thoughts subside and life doesn’t revolve around your loss anymore.
So to anyone reading this that has suffered a miscarriage, just know you are not alone and that whilst you will never forget the lost pregnancy, you will find closure and come to terms with your silent grief.
(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalphotos.net)